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Conway pool fixes complete

No opening date set

CONWAY — Off Whately Road, fresh water from the Pumpkin Hollow Brook is gathering behind the dam at the town’s swimming hole for the first time in three years.

President of the Conway Community Swimming Pool Inc., James Recore, said repairs and renovations to the town pool, begun in July, are now complete. And swimmers can be assured the pool will be open this summer.

The volunteer nonprofit had its Christmas wish come true when pool neighbors heard water from the brook rushing up to the earthen dam at 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 21.

“It was an early Christmas present,” Recore said.

The swimming hole has been closed since the fall of 2010 when the pool committee, which owns the pool, discovered bypass and sinkhole issues with the earthen dam that impounds Pumpkin Hollow Brook.

The committee, a private nonprofit, has run the man-made swimming hole since 1950. The committee operates the pool independently of town government and relies on private donations to operate.

Last February, after months of meetings and filling out permit applications, the volunteer group kicked off a townwide fundraiser that successfully secured all the money necessary for repairs in four months. While the dam needed to be repaired, the pool needed to be dredged and the beach needed replenishing, the pool committee also wanted to add accessibility improvements to the pool area.

The construction was finished by the end of November on schedule. The pool group had hired C.D. Davenport of Greenfield to do phase one of the construction, which involved dredging the pool and repairing the 63-year-old piping.

The dam is complete, the access roads and paths are finished and the benches are in place, Recore said.

The only task left is grass seeding in the spring. Other remaining projects include those that the committee members had volunteered to do themselves, which include building a storage shed, installing light poles and setting up grills and picnic tables. Each Sunday, the volunteers spent time working on these projects and will finish them once weather permits.

The pool committee does not have an official opening date yet, Recore said, but townspeople will be able to swim this summer.

The Conway Sportsman’s Club, of which Recore is also the president, plans to hold its annual fishing derby for Conway youth on the pond on Feb. 15, a tradition that dates to the 1970s.

The pool committee came well within its budget, Recore said.

“We’ll finish comfortably within budget,” Recore said.

The pool group raised $555,579 to repair the dam and make the pool handicapped accessible. The fundraising goal for the project was $563,000, but the pool group said it had enough money to cover the work.

It had secured $358,000 from the town in Community Preservation tax money and trust funds controlled by the town. The rest came from private donations.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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